Carnivale, MOA

Just when you thought you can find everything inside Mall of Asia, wait till you get to see S Maison of Conrad Manila Hotel. Though it is quite small at two storeys, it actually boasts of its own cinema. S Maison caters to the upper class market with its array of high end shops and restaurants. One of these restaurants they have is Carnivale.

The people behind this comfort food haven are the same folks who came up with the Poke Poke restaurant, which is the Locavore group. Chef Mikel Francis Zaguirre, takes his creativity and culinary expertise a notch up here at Carnivale. The dishes they serve here are actually pretty unique. As their catch phrase puts it–hashtag, crazygoodfood.

My feelings towards Carnivale’s food on the other hand, are somewhat caught between screaming “yay” and muttering “nyay.” For starters, I had their French onion croquettas, and my verdict is, I actually liked it. How they have put this thing together is what makes it interesting. Upon breaking the croquettas, French onion cream comes out of it. It was nicely put together and it was so creamy and tasty too.

Their cheese wangus looked like an art form on its own.  We were shown how it was actually made, and it goes through this sous-vide machine, apparently to lock the flavors and moisture in, in the food. Sadly and unexpectedly, it came out bland. Although the Angus beef and Wagyu in it were commendable for being tender and juicy, the food was lacking of flavors.

On the other hand, Carvivale’s gravlax wasn’t anything I’ve seen elsewhere. It was made up of brioche bun with butter squid ink,  with well-seasoned house cured salmon that’s smothered with cream cheese and salmon mousse. I felt like it somehow needed more cream cheese so it could have turned out creamier.

Thanks to one of us guests who happens to be a pescetarian (or one who doesn’t eat meat but fish), the person’s special diet had been nicely considered, thus the inclusion of their shroom burger in our food course. The portabello mushroom in it was delicious, and it was complemented well with the balsamic dressing. I also love the addition of zucchini tempura and saffron aioli in it.

We also got to try two of their fries varieties. One is salted egg, while the other, a truffle one. The salted egg fries was not at all different with the salted egg chips, which tastes strongly of, well, salted egg. The truffle fries, on the other hand, was good with too much truffle oil, and a good amount of that shaved Parmesan cheese.

Their Ferrero dessert, composed of gold dusted profiterole (cream puff) with Nutella ice cream, and Kit Kat dark chocolate bits, could have made a lasting impression if only it wasn’t too bitter and didn’t overpower the sweetness of everything else in it.

Anyways, after reading all that I’ve written here, I still think that you should go and check out Carnivale for yourself as it is indeed, worth the visit. If you are to go, make sure to not only enjoy the food, but the ambience of the place as well. Trust me, you will like the whimsical vibe in this restaurant.


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